I see the thrilling Martingale strategy being used a lot in casinos, though undoubtably many Roulette players use when betting online too.
If you’ve ever used the Martingale strategy, you’ll know it involves doubling down on your wagers, chasing the excitement of trying to secure a one-unit profit. For example, bet $10 and win, return is $20 thus the one unit is $10. Lose $10 and double down betting $20 and win, return is $40 thus you win one unit given that your total outlay was $30. Of course, many Roulette players continue to double down when losing.
The experience begins when Roulette players notice an opportunity to bet on an even money chance outcome that they hope will end a streak.
Of the three outside 1:1 options, Red/Black, Odd/Even, High/Low, most players tend to bet on the Red or Black options. I think it’s the visual attraction of seeing a streak of one colour that catches their attention as they get ready to implement a popular Roulette strategy, such as the Martingale.
THE MARTINGALE STRATEGY IN ACTION
Roulette players using the Martingale strategy lookout for a streak of at least six Reds or Blacks. However, a sense of urgency tends to begin when a run of ten consecutive same colour outcomes is seen. Players will then bet AGAINST that streak based on the theory, the longer the streak, the more likely the next outcome will be an opposite one that will end the streak. So, when they lose at their first attempt they continue to double down until they win or run out of money.
The more occasions you bet hoping for a streak to be broken using the Martingale strategy the more likely it is that you’ll encounter a streak long enough to wipe out your casino bankroll. If your first bet results in an outcome that ends a streak, then you’ll double your wager. If you lose and continue to double down trying up to six times, you’ll be entering the danger zone where the build-up of risk versus reward in my view just isn’t worth continuing.
1st bet 1 unit to win 1 (total outlay 1 unit)
2nd bet 2 units to win 1 (total outlay 3 units)
3rd bet 4 units to win 1 (total outlay 7 units)
4th bet 8 units to win 1 (total outlay 15 units)
5th bet 16 units to win 1 (total outlay 31 units)
6th bet 32 units to win 1 (total outlay 63 units)
The problem with most Roulette players who get into the Martingale bubble is they don’t want to stop. The adrenaline kicks in and the prevalent question in the minds of players asks, what if the next outcome happens to be the one that ends the streak? They don’t want to lose out on recovering their increasing outlay and the prize; that small one-unit profit. It’s a mixed emotion of excitement, fear and a drive to stay in the game, betting until the end, whether all is lost or little gained. Though of course a win feels big given that the true reward isn’t the one unit but the recovery of their total outlay.
Certainly, this isn’t my cup of tea of a Roulette system, but it got me wondering whether there’s a way of tweaking the Martingale so that the risk can be minimised and consequently the reward secured sooner? I believe I’ve developed a method that improves on the Martingale approach. I write approach because this really is the key to solving what I see as the Martingale problem.
MARTINGALE STRATEGY PROS AND CONS
Long streaks can lead to Roulette player’s bankrolls being wiped out. Even if they add more funds to top up their dwindling bankrolls the Martingale strategy can prove to be totally brutal and is the casinos best friend. Most players will either run out of money or in rare cases want to place a wagers that surpass the casino’s maximum betting limit.
It’s not uncommon for casinos to recoded streaks of 20x plus of the same colour occurring in a row. In 1943 a casino in America recorded Red occurring 32 times in a row. I once saw 25x Reds occur in a row on live online Roulette and I recall there had been a dealer change during that streak.
On the other hand, if you have deep pockets and can afford to take the chance to secure a one-unit win, over the long term you’re more likely to succeed given that most streaks don’t end up being long ones. However, there are two aspects to this assumption.
The first is that the shorter the streak (under six in a row) the more likely it is that the streak will end. And longer streaks (ten or more in a row) is a strong indication that the streak may prove to be a long one.
It thus follows that you should avoid betting when you see a long streak. Therefore, since shorter streaks are unlikely to form into a long streak you’ll win at more attempts when betting to see streaks end.
If you follow the advice in tip 1, it’s a good idea to have a stop loss just in case the streak does continue. If you make three attempts in a row, from say the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th stage of a streak and stop you’ll only be losing seven units. E.g. bet 1 lose, bet 2 lose, bet 4 lose: total wagered =7
It’s better to lose seven units than to -63 or more units should you continue to double down.
Let’s say you bet to see a streak end from a run of 3 in a row. You’d be trying three times starting from the 4th outcome. You place 1 unit (whatever amount that maybe for instance $10), as your first bet for the 4th outcome following the run of 3 wins and if the streak ends, you would’ve gained your one unit win thereby recovering your $10 plus winning $10.
If you lose you’d place a $20 bet prior to the 5th outcome. If you win you’ll be paid $40 whereby deducting the $30 that is your total outlay, you’d be winning $10. If you lose you would try one more time, this time wagering $40 and a win will pay $80 of which $70 was your total outlay thus you’d be winning $10.
But if you lose $70 and stop trying you’d only be 7 wins away from recovering your losses which is better than had you gone on trying and lost a lot more.
TABONE'S TWEAK OF THE MARTINGALE STRATEGY
Earlier in this article I wrote that my method involves a different approach to the Martingale strategy. At whatever stage of a streak you begin to bet against it continuing you should be aware that the Martingale strategy in an of itself doesn’t suggest when or where you should bet. The assumption is that a Roulette player bets against a streak by doubling his or her wagers upon each loss. But when it doesn’t work out before you’ve run out of money or exceeded a casino’s maximum bet limit the key to winning remains in the decisions on what you bet on.
When a Roulette player sees a streak of Blacks, my tweak of the Martingale maintains the doubling down element, however if my first bet on Red results in a loss, I’m going to assume that the streak will continue therefore my next bet will be on Black. If my assumption is correct, I win upon my second attempt not to see the streak end but to, if you like hedge my bet just in case I’m wrong and it continues.
In the worst-case scenario where my 2nd bet fails, and the result is Red I’ve only lost three units having doubled down on my first wager. I believe I’m in a stronger position than the Roulette player who continues to bet against the streak by solely backing the other option.
My approach has more power when a possible streak lingers at the point of not knowing the next outcome. For me 3-in-a-row is the point at which streaks will either continue or not.
Either BBBR or BBBB clearly the former pattern ending in a R outcome has gone in the direction that ends the possibility of a streak forming, whereas the latter pattern has clearly favoured the formation of a streak.
If the streak continues as such BBBB assuming I lose upon the 4th Black outcome when betting on Red then my next bet will therefore be Black, and I’d win if the streak of Blacks continues BBB (this 4th outcome I bet Red but the outcome was B indicating the likelihood that the streak might continue) (this 5th outcome I bet Black and won) B.
I’m only going to lose, if and only if, the forming streak ends upon the 5th outcome like so BBBBR. But I’d rather lose twice which involves a single unit and a doubling of my unit (total three units lost) than continuing to double my wagers hoping that a streak ends by only betting on the opposite colour of it.
THE STRUCTURE OF BETS LEADING TO A WIN OR LOSS
Using my tweak of the Martingale strategy sees a Roulette player betting only twice when trying to profit from a streak. This means you only stand to lose three units (1 and the double 2) therefore the risk it controlled.
In using my teak of the Martingale strategy, the possible outcomes are:
- A win upon your first opposite bet.
BBB / you bet R if the result is R an opposite you win. If lost move on to the next bet.
- A win upon your second same type bet. If you lose you stop betting.
BBB B / assuming you lost your first bet going opposite you now bet ‘same’ as the streak, so B. If you win there will be 5x BBB BB
If you lose both attempts, you’re only losing 3 units and if you win upon your first or second attempts, you’ll be gaining 1 unit. Thus, it’s a 1:1 bet on the first attempt and risking 3 in total (first bet 1 and second bet 2) to win 1 unit upon your second attempt. Bet 2, win 4, less your 3 outlay = 1 winning unit.
You have two chances to win versus both failing ending in a loss.
To break even you’d need to win three times for every -3 lost but let’s not forget you have two chances to achieve a win with your first bet being opposite should the streak end and your second bet being the same type as the streak, should the streak continue.
The next time you consider using the Martingale strategy, betting against a streak of the same colour shouting “Any Red number!” / “Any Black number!” in the hope of recovering your previous wagers, let alone the small profit you hope to gain, remind yourself of my approach to the Martingale strategy.